Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Being a teenager is not easy at the best of times, and during the past 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic it has been even harder.
Taylia De Freitas, a matric learner at St Cyprian’s was unsettled during the national lockdown last year with the lack of social interaction and support of close friends.
She had no idea that her love for design would develop into a movement for mental and emotional health that would inspire many around the world.
The feeling that myself and the people around me have gotten most is that nothing is ever as it seems. People can seem ok on the outside but internally are really not doing ok.
Talyia says it has first them to be more sensitive about the things they were saying and doing.
It made us more aware of how our actions were affecting not only ourselves but for other people as well.
Before we went into isolation and the whole pandemic started, I was very much using my friends and social interaction as a coping mechanism and a distraction from everything else that was really going on in my life. I was always busy.
She says Covid isolation stripped that all away from her.
I was forced to look internally and appreciate friendships and relationships a lot more.
Fortunately, Talyia was able to ask for help and sought the assistance of a therapist.
I think asking for help is the most difficult thing. For a long time, I had seen my vulnerability as a weakness and then I realized my perspective was wrong and it was harming me a lot.
She came to understand that vulnerability is a strength.
I sought professional help and it was the best thing I ever did.
She speaks about being bullied growing up and how isolated that made her feel.
You question yourself and your self-worth.
The bullying, her parents' divorce, and other issues built up over the years, she explains.
But her journaling and insights led to her creating an Instagram page to share some of her own feelings and journal entries.
She started her page called Words To Help You Fly in February and intended it to help others.
Words To Help You Fly started so that I could be the person my younger self needed to hear but never did. So it was very much for her.
Now she has created a line of hoodies with slogans dedicated to people in her life who helped her.